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Think Rio de Janeiro. Imagine carnival. Now conjure up a picture of a smart contemporary-styled Brazilian barbecue restaurant and you have is Zico's.
This restaurant's on the southern section Chaweng Beach Road, opposite Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui.
Choose to dine inside the completely air-conditioned 60-seat interior with its novel floor-paneled lighting, or in the open-air 45-seat section under the stars.
The first thing you'll be invited to do by your waitress is to help yourself to the super-fresh 50-item salad bar. There are all manner of sauces and dips to tuck into, too.
Back at the table you'll notice that in front of each diner there's a small disc - green on one side and red on the other. And the reason for this additional piece of tableware becomes apparent very quickly as roving passadors start passing. Each one presenting a different meat or fish on a long skewer and stopping at you if you have the green side of the disc showing (and pass you by if the red side's up). And an endless stream of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, duck, salmon, king prawns and a whole lot more comes around throughout the evening. Flip to red for a break and back to green when you're ready for more. Alongside the meats you'll be served with your choice of potatoes and other vegetables. All this is included in the price but there's a separate dessert menu, too, should some of you still want more!
Thanks to the friendly staff and the Latin music playing, the atmosphere and mood is already upbeat. But it rises to another level entirely when the sound goes up and two gorgeous Brazilian dancers appear in their feathers, high heels, and bikinis (plus very little else!) and dance away on the central stage. How they manage to move at four beats per second beats me but the effect's both electrifying and mesmerising.
Zico's is definitely a cut above most on the island. Especially when you're looking for somewhere that's exciting, has great food, is terrific value-for-money, and gives you that reassuring feeling of being somewhere special.